Sunday, July 5

Papanaasam - An ordinary family in extraordinary circumstances

Picture this.
A small middle class family, where the wife and kids always want to buy something or the other, the husband who wants to spend very little towards the so called “luxury” albeit necessary goods, nevertheless a very happy one, suddenly subjected to a plethora of unfortunate events that puts them in the most uncomfortable and unfortunate situation with the eyes of the entire city (or a part whatever) is on them and in addition to that frequent investigations from police. Surely that’s a horrendous situation you may say. It was, after all, the plot of a movie? No … It was the experience of our "car breakdown" near Sathyam cinemas.

Still from the movie papanasam
Friday nights and the weekends are when people throng to cinema halls in big bunches, in cars and bikes and buses to - to quote in actual cinema enthusiast's lingo - eat popcorn and puffs. In some theatres it is called "papps" but that’s a different issue. These cinema halls, intelligent institutions they are, also let us watch a movie while we are wasting time munching popcorn, among which the market leader is Sathyam Cinemas with their unique seasoning which, no matter how much ever you try, you'll never get the compostion right. In addition to that they have a restaurant inside the complex which boasts of that extreme quality that attracts many customers - charging ridiculously high prices for food items. Anyway that's too much deviation.

Sathyam popcorn seasoning
Getting back to the problem here, the ordinary family mentioned in the title is my family and we headed out to Sathyam cinemas for, yes you guessed it right, lunch. That is when the extraordinary circumstance arose as a result of our car finally giving up and we were stranded in the middle of the road. In the midst of mile long traffic and hot chennai sun (even though sun is common to the entire world, it stripteases only in Chennai) our car broke down in that road that leads to Sathyam cinemas parking lot from Express Avenue. People call it White's road but I call those people racists. If your response is "Dumbass that's not white's road" then I have only thing to say to you - Denial of racism is a worser crime.

If your car has ever broken down in Chennai traffic which, thanks to the metro rail project which was proposed to reduce traffic by 2013, has increased it significantly thereby giving sixth standard English teachers a real-time example for the word 'irony'. But people of Chennai, known for their intelligence and wit, will help you get out of the problem by honking their individual horns incessantly till you go deaf in one ear. Your family, comfortably seated inside the air-conditioned car, get panicked amidst all the boisterous cacophony of car horns and do their utmost to help increase the decibel levels. After deep realization you realize now you have to do the one inevitable thing to reduce the noise level - switch off the FM in car.

It would've been just 5 mins since that unfortunate incident happened but now you'll be surrounded by police and  random guys on bikes who will be absolutely comfortable in throwing cuss words at you irrespective of whether you're surrounded by woman or not. Of course you can't blame them as they are subjected to the terrible inconvenience of wearing a helmet. Not knowing what to do, you apply all the knowledge that you have about automobiles and come to the ingenious solution of restarting the car. In any other case this would've been a stupid decision but in your case it would actually work. Turns out the car didn't breakdown but it was just the case of an old battery and your FM and AC were the culprits sucking out the life from it.

After this incident, you take your car to relax in hot sauna otherwise known as Sathyam cinemas parking lot. You will be charged a meager 50 rupees for this service which actually makes you unable to sit in your car for at least 1 hour before which you actually might reach home.

Sathyam cinemas parking lot
Once in the theater you obviously rush your family to climb up the stairs quicker, with all of them shouting "dei nillu daa" continuously, cos you are late for the - again you got it right - popcorn. Irrespective of time and the showtime you will end up behind a person trying to order from the counter with an obnoxious kid changing the order every second. In my case that kid was constantly shouting "Appa papa ... Appa papa" where papa is the cute-kids slang for popcorn. That explains the first word of the title where that kid ruined my popcorn - papa naasam

Note 1: Well that's actually the end but if you thought this was about the movie Papanasam then all I have to say is only thing. If you want to enjoy the movie never ask a person who actually saw the original movie Drishyam. The obvious response from that person would be "not as good as the original one" even though he/she has never seen the original.

Note 2: I went to see a hindi movie called ABCD 2 which could've been retitled as "Sarvanaasam"

Note 3: Drishyam is better than Papnasam. Please give me tickets to the latter no.